Adolescent fertility attitudes and childbearing in early adulthood


Guzzo, K. B.; Hayford, S. R.; & Lang, V. W. (2019). Adolescent fertility attitudes and childbearing in early adulthood. Population Research and Policy Review. vol. 38 (1) pp. 125-152


Teens’ attitudes about adolescent childbearing predict childbearing in the short term. If these attitudes reflect persistent goals and values, they may also be linked to later outcomes. To test long-term linkages, we analyze the association of adolescent fertility attitudes with actual and prospective fertility in adulthood using Waves I (1994–1995) and IV (2007–2008) of the National Longitudinal Study of Adolescent to Adult Health and focusing on men (N = 4275) and women (N = 4418) without a teen birth. For women, we find that more negative teen attitudes predict lower hazards of a first birth up to around age 30 but that teens’ attitudes are unrelated to planned childlessness among those who have not yet had children. Men’s adolescent attitudes are unrelated to actual fertility or prospective intentions. For both men and women, more advantaged individuals are less likely to have had a child by around age 30; socioeconomic advantage is also related to postponement of childbearing rather than planned childlessness, though more so for women than men. We interpret the findings as evidence that, for girls, teens’ attitudes toward adolescent childbearing capture an internalization of social schema about childbearing, childrearing, and sequencing with other life outcomes but do not reflect overall preferences about having children. More work is needed to understand the psychosocial factors that influence men’s fertility. © 2018, Springer Nature B.V.



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Export Date: 12 November 2018 Article in Press

Reference Type

Journal Article

Journal Title

Population Research and Policy Review


Guzzo, K. B.
Hayford, S. R.
Lang, V. W.

Year Published


Volume Number


Issue Number





October 16, 2018



Reference ID